This portlet was introduced in 6.1 to act as a place for site administrators to see the latest content created or updated and quickly create new ones. However the feedback has been that it hasn't achieved its purpose since administrators prefer to manage their content from their specific administration portlets.
Also, now that Site Administration has been extracted out of the Control Panel and there is a direct link to administer Content, the consistent feedback we are getting is that it's better to go directly to Web Content in that case, since it's probably the most commonly managed type of content.
As a result of this Story, the "Recent Content" portlet becomes deprecated. It will still be part of 6.2 but disabled by default. To enable it go to Control Panel > Plugins Configuration.